The “tablet” market has only genuinely existed since March 2010 when the first iPad was announced. Since then Apple has pushed out a stack of new units, Samsung has a tablet in every shape and size and your local supermarket can probably sell you one for under $100. So – is the tablet market still growing?
An Original iPad is only really good today for basic browsing, email and some apps – unfortunately it doesn’t have the power under the hood to support the more recent versions of iOS so there’s no way you can keep your apps up to date. The iPad 2 though has some real klout – it will run iOS 8 which is due out in a month or so, which begs the question – why would you bother upgrading to a newer model?
Simple answer – you wouldn’t.
I’ve got several iPad 2’s in our household – the kids use them for games and movies and videos, and we still have original iPads for browsing the web.
Even a retina screen – as good as it looks – isn’t enough to really push people over to a newer device.
The same applies to quality Android tablets. But on a shorter life cycle. Android tablets from a couple of years ago are either not capable of being upgraded or the upgrade process is difficult. With the huge range of Android tablets available these days there’s little wonder they are outselling iPads.
Technology analysts at Telsyte reckon there were 1.8 million “media tablets” sold in Australia in just the first half of 2014. A big number right? Nope, down 28 percent on the last half of 2013.
Now let’s be clear, that’s the Christmas half of the year compared to the other – not exactly apples and apples, but without doubt Telsyte agrees that there is a longer upgrade cycle than some might have expected.
It’s not hard to see why the challenge for the brands going forward is cracking the next level of consumers who just haven’t seen the need for a tablet yet, as well as those with an existing tablet who need to be tempted with the upgrade. Tempted – but not annoyed – if you drive consumers to new products just because you stop supporting the old one – you’ll annoy them.
In just four years the tablet market has become well established in Australia – 46% or 10.8 million people own one as at the end of June 2014.
According to Telsyte, Apple has a 46 per cent share of the market, Android tablets are 47 per cent with Windows-based devices at 7 per cent.
The gurus at Telsyte who are charged with forecasting sales reckon 2.1million tablets will be sold in the second half of 2014 – the challenge for manufacturers and retailers is convincing people why. Why do I need a tablet? and Why should I upgrade?
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.